sitcom simulacrum tries on a pleasing new voice

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 7.36.38 PMWith a collection of wacky misunderstandings and a nod to Three’s Company, “Jack and Diane,” the fourth episode of Lady Dynamite, marries classic sitcom conventions with its distinctively capricious, enormously pleasing voice. Read my full review of “Jack and Diane” at The A.V. Club.

Advertisements

Lady Dynamite solves racism! Yay!

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 7.26.41 PM

“White Trash,” the third episode of Lady Dynamite, shows the many ways well-intentioned people do harm. Grappling consciously with her own unconscious racism, Maria manages to perpetuate racism instead, in an episode as layered and complex as Mira Sorvino’s multi-level guest appearance. Read my full review of “White Trash” at The A.V. Club.

Lady Dynamite trusts its gut and sings its heart out

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 9.34.49 PM“Bisexual Because Of Meth,” the second episode of Lady Dynamite, poses some worst-case scenarios, then shows that even the worst case is rarely quite that bad. The episode tries to have its meth cake and smoke eat it, too, by sending up some ugly tropes even as it gleefully exploits them. But ultimately — and in keeping with Bamford’s comic voice — it’s a hopeful story about learning to trust your gut and sing your heart out. Read my full review of “Bisexual Because Of Meth” at The A.V. Club.

completely different

It’s…

… The Televerse! Friend and colleague Kate Kulzick invited me to kick off the guest-host era of The Televerse podcast. In this episode, we talk about Key & Peele, Married, Hannibal, Review, and more.

Then it’s time for The DVD Shelf, where I talk about the absurdity and downright surrealism of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Remember, if you want to pick a fight with me about Monty Python, it’s one pound for a five minute argument, but only eight pounds for a course of ten.

glory

This is one of my favorite pieces, springing unexpectedly from my A.V. Club assignment to review the bawdy, sometimes brutal, sensitively balanced Review, starring Andy Daly.

I didn’t expect my review of the season two premiere to delve into how Forrest MacNeil (Daly) uses his job reviewing life experiences as a pretext for escaping his own life, abdicating decisions and destiny both to the hands of random viewers, boxing off his actions from their consequences. Review allows Forrest to pursue adventures and debauchery without acknowledging how his own desires drive his behavior or how his detachment from his own culpability puts walls between him and the people he loves. Review lets Forrest put his life in a box… or, in this episode, in a hole.

Suzanne, Forrest's ex-wife (Jessica St. Clair) [Comedy Central]

Suzanne, Forrest’s ex-wife (Jessica St. Clair) [Comedy Central]

Forrest is right about one thing: It’s possible to find meaning in the most unexpected places, and in assignments that sometimes seem random.